Download Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in by Paul Erdkamp, Koenraad Verboven, Arjan Zuiderhoek PDF

By Paul Erdkamp, Koenraad Verboven, Arjan Zuiderhoek

Clarification of the good fortune and failure of the Roman economic system is likely one of the most crucial difficulties in monetary heritage. As an economic climate able to maintaining excessive construction and intake degrees, it used to be unprecedented till the early glossy period.

This quantity makes a speciality of how the institutional constitution of the Roman Empire affected monetary functionality either definitely and negatively. a world variety of individuals deals numerous techniques that jointly improve our knowing of ways various possession rights and diverse modes of association and exploitation facilitated or avoided using land and typical assets within the creation strategy. counting on a wide array of assets - literary, criminal, epigraphic, papyrological, numismatic, and archaeological - chapters handle key questions concerning the foundations of the Roman Empire's economic climate. Questions of development, focus and criminal prestige of estate (private, public, or imperial), the position of the nation, content material and obstacles of rights of possession, water rights and administration, exploitation of indigenous populations, and plenty of extra obtain new and unique analyses that make this e-book an important leap forward to realizing what made the commercial achievements of the Roman empire possible.

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Sample text

AGRICULTURE AND UNDEREMPLOYMENT At first sight, it might seem that population growth in such regions as the ager Veientanus did indeed put stress on surplus production, leading to a decrease in non-food producing sectors. One could argue that, if all things else remained equal, population growth would have resulted in a lowering of labour and soil productivity in agriculture. Population growth would lead to the increasing use of marginal lands, thus lowering average soil productivity. As demographic growth would be insufficiently compensated by the clearance of new land, the input of labour per unit of land would increase.

What effect did the creation of a new imperial ‘bureaucratic’ elite in late antiquity have on the (re)distribution of land and natural resources? How did the annona affect the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural products? Many of these themes, topics, and issues are addressed, explicitly or implicitly, in the chapters written by our contributors. Naturally, not each and every subject could be dealt with in great detail, or even dealt with at all, but since this volume is by no means envisioned as ‘the last word’ on the theme of land and natural resources in the Roman world (if that were even possible), but rather as a stimulus to further research, this does not much matter.

On the one hand, Italian agriculture was characterized by a high level of soil productivity; on the other hand, however, the agricultural sector was over-manned, leading to low labour productivity. e. e. 30 We may learn from the comparison with pre-industrial Europe that it may not have been so much soil fertility or agricultural technology that limited the size of non-agricultural sectors. It was rather the underdevelopment of nonagricultural sectors, as a result of which too many people worked the land, that caused high levels of structural underemployment, which in turn limited labour productivity in agriculture and thus the size of the surplus.

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